The UK’s oldest single-city arts festival announces first seven shows

The UK’s oldest single-city arts festival announces first seven shows
Rhiannon Giddens by Ebru Yildiz

The Norfolk & Norwich Festival returns in 2023 with a huge variety of work staged in and around the city of Norwich for 17 days from 12 May - 28 May 2023.

Having celebrated its 250th Anniversary last year, the festival has announced its first seven shows ahead of a full programme announcement on 21st February.

Country and bluegrass musician Rhiannon Giddens will play St. Andrew’s Hall on the Festival’s opening weekend with Italian singer-songwriter Francesco Turrisi, performing their acclaimed Grammy Award-winning Folk Album They’re Calling Me Home. And sitarist Jasdeep Singh Degun will perform his debut album Anomaly at St Peter Mancroft with a nine musician ensemble including the tabla, santoor, esraj, and mridangam.

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Jasdeep Singh credit:Robert Leslie

Celebrating the Festival’s classical roots, music groups 12 Ensemble and GBSR Duo both commission work that reinvents the classical canon in a special joint concert. 

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12 ENSEMBLE credit Raphael Neal 


GBSR Duo credit: Damian Griffiths

In addition, Manchester-based The Hallé will return to Norfolk for the first time since 1995, teaming up with German conductor Kevin John Edusei and acclaimed Argentinian pianist Nelson Goerner. 

And Festival regulars Britten Sinfonia return with Musical Everests, performing music by Britten, Tippett, Maconchy and Phibbs alongside rare work from 1953, the year of Queen Elizabeth II’s coronation and the summitting of Mt Everest.

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Britten Sinfonia @ Saffron Hall. Credit Tom Lovatt

Elsewhere, legendary circus troupe Chelsea McGuffin & Co will headline the Adnams Spiegeltent in Festival Gardens with their neo-vaudevillian production Le Coup: a speakeasy, where it’s fight night at the circus and a ragtag troupe compete with fire breathing, aerial feats and acrobatics. 

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Le Coup - Edinburgh

And sensory theatre-makers Frozen Light return to the Festival with Fire Songs, an immersive sensory sound experience for audiences with profound and multiple learning disabilities (PMLD) performed in collaboration with Thetford Singers.

WEB Fire songs

Fire-Songs credit:JMA Photography

Box Office 01603 531800, online or in person at Norwich Guildhall. Visit for opening times.

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